Packing a Carry-On

There has been a debate over whether rolling or folding your clothes allows you to fit more in your luggage since the beginning of time. My 10-day trip to Europe was the perfect time to get to the bottom of which method of packing a carry-on was not only better for fitting more clothes but efficient enough to hold up over multiple destinations.

My First Attempt at Packing a Carry-on by Rolling my Clothes

packing a carry-on
I wasn’t able to fit much in my little suitcase when rolling my clothes

Maybe since I have never been on the rolling team, or maybe since I was packing slightly thicker fall clothes, I never thought the rolling method was going to work. By the time I got my t-shirts and underwear in the suitcase, my carry-on was full and impossible to close. Not to mention, have you ever tried to roll a pair of lederhosen? They will take up the entire carry-on themselves. Verdict: Failure.

My Second Attempt at Packing a Carry-on by Folding My Clothes

packing a carry-on
Even when I did my typical style of double folding my clothes I had trouble packing my carry-on

Since I begun traveling frequently, I have usually double folded my clothes that way both pants/shorts and shirts take up half the length of the suitcase. This time because I had too much stuff laid out and because it was thicker clothes as I mentioned above it didn’t work. I got a lot more in the suitcase, but still, after struggling to close it for 5 minutes, I gave up and went back to the drawing board. Verdict: Failure.

My Final Attempt at Packing a Carry-on by Folding my Clothes

packing a carry-on
And with a little help, I was able to get my carry-on closed!

When I started making the video below, I thought, “no problem, rolling won’t work I’ll fold my clothes and close it on my first try.” I didn’t think I was going to fail both rolling and folding my clothes when packing my carry-on for this trip. Instead of double folding like I did in my previous packing video this time I went for the single fold and sure enough everything fit. I did struggle to close it the first time, but after closing and realizing I forgot to pack my lederhosen, I opened it back up stuck them in and managed to get it closed just in time to leave for the airport. Verdict: Success!

Packing a Carry-on for Multiple Destinations

It’s one thing if you have one destination you can pretty much wear everything you packed once and start the packing process over when you are ready to head home. We had three separate stops on this trip, Amsterdam, Prague, and Munich. Nobody wants to pack, unpack, and repack at each destination, and with the folding method, I didn’t have to. Anything I wore just got folded back up and thrown on top. The only time I completely unpacked and repacked was in Munich because I had to find a way to fit Mallory’s souvenir in the suitcase, and I did!

Conclusion: Which method is better for packing a carry-on?

For me its no question, if you want to fit more clothes in a suitcase, don’t roll your clothes, fold them. I fit more than twice as much in my little carry-on by folding my clothes. You can check out the funny video of me trying to close this suitcase below. I have a lot of content coming very soon for you from this trip abroad, and I’m working hard to get it ready as quickly as possible. Make sure you’re following along on my Instagram to see my favorite photos from the trip and check out my Pinterest as I have been much more active in pinning travel inspiration, destination guides, and travel tips.

A Travel Blogger's Guide to packing a carry-on for an international trip | Passports to Life
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